China's Ding reaches second round at UK Championship

Source:Xinhua Published: 2014-11-27 10:01:12

Second seed Ding Junhui overpowered Irish amateur John Sutton 6-0 in the first round of the snooker UK Championship at the Barbican Center here on Wednesday.

Ding, who won the tournament in 2005 and 2009, made top breaks of 56 and 59 to complete the rout.

The Chinese star will on Saturday face 52-year-old Jimmy White, who made a high break of 110 to beat fellow veteran Dave Harold 6-2.

"It is difficult to keep your game at a high level like I did last season," said Ding. "I didn't start well this season but I'm trying to get back to my best form. Winning today's match was needed to build my confidence.

"I didn't play really good but you've got to be very careful in the first round because I lost in the Wuxi and International Championship qualifiers.

"I'm just looking forward to playing Jimmy next. I watched a lot of matches on TV with Jimmy White when I was a little boy and he was playing very well at the top level. I have a lot of fans here, I felt that when I was playing, but he will have more fans."

White, the 1992 UK Championship winner, is upbeat about the fixture.

"I play the game to play against the top players," he said. "Ding is one of the top four players in the world alongside O'Sullivan, Robertson and Selby so it'll be good to have a crack at him."

"I'm playing ok but it's about getting it together on the day. If I play my top game I can beat anybody. Obviously I have to play really well to beat Ding but that is what I play for.

"It's always nice to play in a proper arena. This is the second biggest tournament and the players love it."

In the day's other games, world champion Mark Selby defeated Oliver Brown 6-0 and other former UK champions John Higgins and Matthew Stevens also advanced.

But six-time champion Steve Davis lost to world number eight Ricky Walden.

Eighteen-year-old world No. 99 James Cahill produced the biggest upset as he defeated world No. 30 Mark King 6-0.

Posted in: Eye on the ball

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